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Nixon/Victor Theater - New Castle PA

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The Nixon Theater was opened on East Washington Street in early 1911. The theater played host to vaudeville acts, silent films, and community events. The theater was closed in May 1929 when the owners failed to comply with state regulations calling for additional fire exits. A group of Pittsburgh investors soon acquired and remodeled the facility. It reopened as the “New” Nixon Theater in February 1930 and soon began showing “talkies.” It was soon renamed as The Ritz. In October 1930 it was sold to David Victor (1892-1972), who re-branded it as the Victor Theater. An article in the New Castle News of December 18, 1930, reads in part, “the new brilliantly-illuminated $5,000 marquee of the Victor theater is attracting notice. The electric lighting effect contributes considerably to the area of East Washington street. The marquee contains 1,450 electric lights and has a total wattage of 25,000 watts.” The Victor Theater was a popular attraction during the 1930’s and 1940’s. (c1960)

An advertisement for the “New” Nixon Theater, which seems to have been renamed as The Ritz for a brief time. (May 1930).

An advertisement from September 1943. Full Size

David Victor finally closed the theater in June 1953. A few years later it was purchased by Harry “Lew” Fry and reopened in March 1956. Fry sold the theater to Joseph and Maurice Markley just over a year later. It mostly showed foreign films until it was closed for good in about 1959. The Lawrence Savings & Trust, located just next door, purchased the building in July 1962 for $37,500 and it was razed in early 1963. The bank had plans to expand on the site but that never took place. The Davis Shoe Company, which occupied a portion of the theater since 1922, was forced to relocate a few doors down. (c1960)


  1. Harry “Lew” Fry was my uncle. He also ran the Movie theater in Wampum, He allowed his brother, my uncle Albert, to run the Victor until he sold it. For years after it closed, I was enthralled by the huge movie projectors in my uncle Al’s cellar in Mahoningtown. I used to play with the ticket dispenser machine in his garage. The huge curtain that hung in front of the screen sagged down from the rafters in his garage… a testament to an industry waning and wanting. Another uncle, George, operated the Vogue (the Cinema) for a time as well.


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